The Ethics of Name Changes

Hypothetically, if someone wanted to change their name purely because they dislike it… Is this reasonable? [name_f]Do[/name_f] you believe it’s disrespectful to ones parents to change their name? Or should it be normalised as a personal choice?
I am curious what people think, because part of me has dreamed about changing my name, and has encouraged others to change theirs, yet another part of me would be very offended if my children decided to change their names. What do you guys think? Is it disrespectful?

I like to imagine a name as a gift that someone might keep for life or something one might grow out of.
So no, I don’t thibk it’s offensive to change your name -it was something you couldn’t control that makes up a major part of your identity, the way people greet you, envisage you etc.

>>Trigger warning: The following is a personal opinion.<<

Honestly, I would say it’s better to find a nickname, go by a middle name, or just learn to love it. I went through a phase myself of wishing I had a less popular, more classic name. BUT, because of the meaning behind my name and the people it honors, I’ve come to respect and even love both my name and the reason my mom chose it for me.

Personally, I’d be seriously offended if my child decided they hated their name enough to change it. (Although, I could understand if it were something ridiculously out-there, like Rainbow or Princess, Atlantis or Gravity – you get the picture.) Mainly because a lot of parents put serious thought and care into choosing a name for their child. Or they at least just really loved the name. And I do understand that oftentimes we don’t share the same naming style as our parents; that’s natural and even expected. But I do think it can be meaningful to them that they had their turn to name kids and we now have ours. I hope all this makes sense.

I think researching the name itself, learning why your parent(s) chose it, etc. is a great way to find reasons to embrace it. Besides, I truly believe that the name doesn’t make the person; the person makes the name. :slight_smile:

In the end, though, of course, it’s entirely up to you and what you personally feel is best for yourself.

My sister always says she hates her name (though I love it) and it seriously hurts my parents, who took a lot of care, love & time to pick out her name. So, bottom line is: I think if you’re respectful about it, and don’t just say “I hate my name” but instead “I feel more comfortable as this…” or “I feel as though this connects with me” is a better way to go about it.

Personally, if I changed my name, my first would go in the middle spot and I might add another middle or I would find a nickname I loved. I won’t change my name but I have fantasized adding another middle.

As a name lover, it would seriously hurt if my kid decided to change their name, but I would understand.

A name is just that - a name. A set of letters and sounds. If you don’t like how it sounds, how it looks, or anything else about it, like popularity, trendiness, anything, there’s no reason to keep it, especially if it makes you uncomfortable. Yes, your parents picked a name they loved, but you’re the one who has to carry it, not them, so if you want to change it that’s fine.
If the name has some significance to the parents I do see why it could be considered “wrong” to get rid of it. In that case I’d keep it as a middle name when I changed my name.
I also think that the idea that changing your name is ethically wrong needs to be challenged because we have to take into account trans people and people in witness protection who have to change their names.